When you think of a professional athlete, you probably don’t think about what they’re planning to do after they retire. Turns out, most athletes don’t either, but a small number of them are blazing the trail into entrepreneurship.
Two of them participated on a panel during SXSW. Walter Powell and Josh Martin, alongside sports agent Justin Giangrande, answered questions posed by Erica Duignan Minnihan, Founding Partner at 1000 Angels & Reign Ventures.
The two athlete-founders had different motivations for why they started thinking beyond their careers in sports.
Powell found himself unfulfilled in his career, and he turned to his older brother for advice. Powell found he had no answer when his brother asked him, “What’s your purpose?” After a lot of soul-searching, Powell discovered he had a passion for keeping people informed about politics, so he launched a startup called Politiscope with his best friend - before development of the app, his friend was his own personal Politiscope.
Martin on the other hand, always had one eye on the exit. He didn’t get picked up in the draft, and when he finally did get signed to a team, he ended up playing for four different teams in his first year. He knew after that first year that his football career could end at any moment. He holds his education at Columbia in high regard, and says his motivation to play for them was the job security his degree could get him. Now he runs a podcast and is planning a trip across America to ask regular people about the issues affecting them.
The two players mused on stage over the short duration of an NFL paycheck for the vast majority of players. The average player has 2.6 years in the NFL, and the average contract length is 2 years. That’s not a lot of runway.
When asked about how they got involved in entrepreneurship, for both players, it was all about the networking. The support system is crucial. According to Giangrande, new, nimble, and future-focused agencies do what they can with players to support them in every decision they want to make, whether on the field or off it. Powell chimed in that current players will never be more relevant than they are now, and they should use their school’s alumni network to get plugged in early. Martin added, don’t be afraid, use your time in the limelight to practice your networking, and set yourself up for future success.
The future is not predetermined. The last 75 years do not guarantee the next 75 in terms of military or diplomatic dominance.
Conflict in the “gray zones” has expanded - that mean’s undeclared conflict such as the conflict in Crimea or a cyber-conflict. And the rate at which information spreads has lent itself to the creation of a high-velocity environment.
The US Army has come to Austin and brought with it a new 4-star command: Army Futures. Army Futures Command controls a nearly $50 billion dollar budget dedicated to R&D and materials development, and that’s why they’ve come to Austin.
Deputy General Eric J Wesley said the one thing the US military is not good at is changing, and things that change, die. So they wanted to come to a place where weirdness is embraced, and entrepreneurship flourishes, and hopefully have some of that spirit spread into the Army’s R&D culture. They are hoping that the Austin economy can help update the Army’s approach to technology. The days where military technology outpaces civilian technology are no more. According to Wesley, the private sector outspends the military 3-to-1 on tech.
Ironically, Army Futures Command’s arrival in Austin has brought several of the large defense contractors to town, but the traditional partners of the military are exactly the group that the Army is trying to avoid. While having more large companies come to town may be good for startups looking for partnerships, the real benefit is AFC’s commitment to the startup ecosystem.
Companies looking to get involved in the AFC ecosystem should visit the Army Applications Lab sitting at the Capital Factory. That’s the best place to determine how prepared your solution is for AFC, and what steps you need to take to make a deal happen.
Cybersecurity is entering mainstream consciousness more and more. Every attack that passes raises the question, a little bit closer to home - will I be next?
A recent study conducted by Sophos and Vanson Bourne of 3,100 IT managers globally had some surprising results.
68% of organizations surveyed fell victim to a cyberattack in the last year. That means that these organizations were unable to prevent attackers from entering their network and/or endpoints. Additionally, those organizations that were victim of at least one cyberattack suffered an average of two attacks within the one-year period.
The organizations reported that threats were in their systems for an average of 13 hours before being detected. The report is quick to point out that the 13 hour number represents the minimum amount of time a threat was within the organizations' systems.
Additionally, the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report states that (coincidentally) 68% of cyberattacks take "months or longer" to discover. The disparity between the two statistics is probably accounted for by the difference in capabilities - companies who are breached are not in the business of cybersecurity, their teams do the best they can with the tools they have, but they are underequipped and unable to analyze and respond to threat horizons with the precision of cybersecurity providers.
These reports highlight the need to have a strong cybersecurity plan in place, not only technical measures but operational ones too.
Over a quarter of attacks come from inside threats, with about 17% of all breaches resulting from employee error and 4% coming from clicks on phishing campaigns.
Insider threats can be somewhat addressed through technical measures, but having clear policies in place regarding data operations, regular auditing of compliance measures, and consistent employee training.
A well equipped, well prepared team can mean the difference between prevention, neutralization, and recovery, and a staggering blow to productivity and consumer trust.
An insurance policy buried a $10,000 prize deep in the contract, stating, "If you've read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation," the contract then provided instructions for the winner to redeem the prize.
$10,000 is a cheap price for all of the benefits the company will receive from this move:
Given the costs of marketing, customer retention, and litigation, $10,000 seems a small price to pay for all that Tin Leg was able to accomplish.
If you're looking to run your own contest or sweepstakes, make sure to follow good practices! Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes.
Original story here.
Alphabet owned company, Chronicle, just announced a new product offering - Backstory.
The small Google affiliate promises affordable pricing based on the number of employees that a company has rather than the amount of data used. Depending on what those figures end up being - it could have a big impact on the state of cybersecurity regulation.
The FTC is the de facto enforcer of cybersecurity standards among businesses, and they have moving goalposts regarding the adequacy of a company's cybersecurity practices:
"From the outset, the FTC has recognized that there is no such thing as perfect security, and that security is a continuing process of detecting risks and adjusting one’s security program and defenses. For that reason, the touchstone of the FTC’s approach to data security has been reasonableness—that is, a company’s data security measures must be reasonable in light of the volume and sensitivity of information the company holds, the size and complexity of the company’s operations, the cost of the tools that are available to address vulnerabilities, and other factors. Moreover, the FTC’s cases focus on whether the company has undertaken a reasonable process to secure data."
Taken with the possibility of affordable cybersecurity solutions based on company size, smaller ventures no longer have the reasonableness standard to hide behind when they engage in poor cybersecurity hygiene. Even though the standard remains the same, this means "more" regulation.
Even if the potential lower costs means adding an extra expense, it's really a big win for consumers and businesses alike. Consumers can feel more confident in sharing their data with businesses (which is often part of a company's business model), and companies can rest easier knowing that they no longer have to be the ones who let customer data leak for lack of trying.